CARSON, CA - AEG, investor/operator of the MLS Cup and U.S. Open Cup Champion Los Angeles Galaxy, announced that Alexi Lalas has been named the President and General Manager of the club. Lalas, who played for the Galaxy from 2001-2003, will return to the club as their top executive and will oversee all business and soccer operations. He spent the last year as President and General Manager of the New York Red Bulls (formerly the MetroStars) following serving as General Manager of the San Jose Earthquakes from 2004-2005.
"We are fortunate to have the opportunity to bring in one of soccer's brightest executives to the Los Angeles Galaxy," said AEG Sports President Shawn Hunter. "As we move into MLS' eleventh season, Alexi will be able to provide us with the unique knowledge and experience that comes from being both a player and administrator during the League's first decade."
"While we recognize that it is an incredible task to replace the contributions and insight that Doug Hamilton brought to AEG and the Galaxy, Alexi's leadership will be invaluable to the team and our organization," Hunter added. "We very much appreciate the assistance of the New York Red Bulls, who allowed us to speak with Alexi and supported us in our efforts to find a solid leader for the Galaxy."
Lalas spent three seasons as a player with the Galaxy during which he won the 2002 MLS Cup, the 2001 U.S. Open Cup and the 2000 CONCACAF Champions Cup. Following his retirement in 2003, Lalas was named President and General Manager of the San Jose Earthquakes before moving to the New York Red Bulls in June, 2005.
"This is an incredible opportunity to return to a team that I know and love," said Lalas. "Doug Hamilton established a standard of excellence for this club, on and off the field, and it is our responsibility to continue to live up to that standard."
Lalas joined the Earthquakes after an outstanding soccer career that began with his first cap on the U.S. national team in 1991. An Olympian in 1992 and 1996, Lalas was a member of the United States' 1994 and 1998 World Cup teams and in 1995 he was named U.S. Soccer Athlete of the Year. On the international club level, Lalas became the only American player ever to play in Italy's Serie A, as he signed with Padova in 1994 and scored three goals during the 1994-1995 seasons.
Lalas has long been one of the leading figures and most familiar faces in United States soccer and he cemented his place in MLS history by making five all-star appearances during his seven-year career and garnering MLS Best XI honors in 2002. His MLS career began with the New England Revolution, who Lalas played with for two seasons and then moved on to the MetroStars in 1998. He spent one season with the Kansas City Wizards in 1999 before retiring for the 2000 season. However, he returned to MLS in 2001 and appeared in 59 games for the Galaxy over the next three years, capturing three championship titles.
Lalas served as the Quakes color commentator during the 2000 season and has served as a soccer announcer for NBC, ABC, ESPN, and ESPN2. He also sits on the Board of Advisors for the U.S. Soccer Federation's Grants Committee and the Athletes Council. Lalas served on the Board of Advisors for the FIFA Women's World Cup and in 2004 he joined the national advisory board for the Positive Coaching Alliance.
The defending 2005 MLS Cup Champions host the Columbus Crew at The Home Depot Center in the fourth game of the 2006 season on Saturday, April 22 at 7:30 p.m. The match will be broadcast live on FSN-W and CA$H 1700 AM (English) and KMXE. Los Angeles 2006 Season Tickets are on sale now. For more information or to order tickets, please call the Galaxy toll-free at 1-877-3-GALAXY or visit www.lagalaxy.com.